You have spent an entire month writing a novel, and now that you have finished it and are working on the editing phase, it is probably a good time to write a book blurb.
A book blurb is that paragraph of text on the back cover of books that tell the prospective reader what your book is all about. It is a short snapshot of your novel and needs to include three very important elements to increase the chances that the browsing reader will purchase and read your novel.
1. Short and Sweet – The blurb should be long enough to read in about ten seconds. Any longer than that and the reader may put it down in favor of something shorter.
2. Spoiler Alert – Keep the introduction to your novel free of major plot points. Introduce the plot of the first three to five chapters and then fade to more general comments about your plot.
3. Substance – The last few sentences should be the “so what” of your novel. What is the main theme or grand topic of your novel? What are the main emotions that readers should feel after reading your novel?
Here is an example from my novel This Broken Earth, Book 1: The U.S. of After:
The world has ended…sort of. Wandering through the apocalypse are a band of people simply trying to survive, but their lives, like our own, have a greater destiny not immediately visible to the naked eye. Follow this band of reluctant heroes as they journey south to New Orleans based on a hope found in a whispered rumor around a campfire. They will face bandits, cannibalistic militia and spiritual forces bound to destroy them, but with faith they can survive, must survive, for the hope of all humanity.
The challenge: Write a book blurb for your novel now that it is written and you know where the plot ended up. Post it in the comment line of this blog post, and let’s see what kind of novels were written during the NaNoWriMo. Who knows? You may find some new readers just from the blurb…or you may get some critique. Either way you have nothing to lose!
Now let’s see those blurbs!